Immigrants are the fastest growing part of the evangelical church in America. Most immigrants are strong supporters of traditional family values. But many immigrants face lengthy waiting periods ranging from several years to more than a decade to be reunited with immediate family members, due to backlogs in our broken immigration system.
For several million immigrants, most drawn to the U.S. by employment opportunities, our immigration system offers no options for obtaining legal status. Many are in mixed-status households which may include U.S. citizens, legal permanent residents and undocumented immigrants. While U.S. labor laws and protections theoretically apply to all workers regardless of immigration status, undocumented immigrants are frequently afraid to report safety concerns, wage and hour violations or other abuses to the authorities for fear of being deported. Exploitation of undocumented immigrants by unscrupulous employers puts honest businesses at a competitive disadvantage. Yet less than 2 percent of arrests made in immigration enforcement raids are of employers; 98 percent of those arrested are workers, most of whom do not set company policy.
In October 2009, the NAE Board of Directors passed a resolution supporting comprehensive immigration reform. And in June 2012, the NAE joined the Evangelical Immigration Table.
For further study:
» Set aside 40 days for prayer and reading one Bible passage each day on God's heart for immigrants. Take the "I Was A Stranger" challenge.
» Consider signing on to the Evangelical Statement of Principles for Immigration Reform and join evangelical leaders like Leith Anderson, Jim Daly and Max Lucado.
» Organize a book club on "Christians at the Border" or "Welcoming the Stranger: Justice, Compassion and Truth in the Immigration Debate." Both are available at discount prices in the NAE shopping cart.
» Read the NAE statement regarding the June 2012 immigration announcement from the Obama administration.
» Statement on Refugee and Asylum Provisions (05-09-13)